Thursday, November 15

Unintentional Style Icon: Lyla Garrity in Friday Night Lights

Let's get one thing straight: Lyla Garrity, the Texan flower played by Minka Kelly on my latest Netflix go-to, Friday Night Lights, could look good in a gym towel. Or an off-brand Snuggie. Or a potato sack. Not a shitty, $24.97 Forever 21 bubble hem dress that looks like a potato sack in a euphemistic sense, but an actual, itchy burlap sack that once held Idaho-grown starch cylinders. But, whether she's freegan-ing her way to a fall wardrobe through grocery castoffs or not, there's something about her ability to rock middle american mall duds better than me in my one designer outfit that makes her so sartorially intriguing.

I'm only six episodes in, so it's about seven days 'til I bomb everyone's Twitter feeds with outlandish "CLEAR EYES FULL TUMMIES CAN'T LOSE" Thanksgiving slogans, but besides now understanding why Connie Britton is a famous name, I totally get the obsession with Minka Kelly and her small-town, sideline-cheering counterpart. Lyla's the type of girl that can pull off a Mossimo sports bra (you know her mom wouldn't splurge for a new Nike one) and still look better than the girl in front of you at the grocery mastering the exercise-as-outerwear clothing niche. Lyla is the type of girl that will have you going, "Yeah, I'll totally rock this!" while trying on mesh pinnies in Sports Authority and trying to transform them into your own budget version of Alexander Wang's lady football collection, only to realize it's just not gonna happen, not now, not ever. It's not going to happen because just like those silk, v-cut tank tops Abercrombie & Fitch were shilling for years that never fit properly no matter how much you adjusted the straps, on Lyla? They look perfect. And the worst part is, for better or worse, it's not really something those of us who require things like makeup and time wasted in dressing rooms and heels will be able to replicate.

I've worn a cheerleading uniform. I won't delve into this cobweb-covered year of my life any further, but
let me tell you first-handedly that it looks like shit on everyone. Everyone! All that synthetic double-stretch polyester and spandex shorts and the fact that you can feel multiple people have worn it before you — it ain't pretty, especially considering our daytime clothing alternatives were remnants from ransacking the most flammable items off Wet Seal's sale rack. (There was a time when I owned an entire drawer of tube tops. Praise the lord those days are behind us.)

But there's Lyla, giving new meaning to jeans that didn't come from Bloomingdales, breathing new life into the entire category and possibility of sundresses. Making tank tops a viable possibility when after the age of fifteen, they became undershirts or pajamas, nothing else. Only difference is while we roamed around in clonky gymshoes like these hideous white geriatric messes, we looked like DORKS. Like poor, lanky dorks whose parents didn't know any better. On Lyla, though? It all works. It all, always and against all feasible eyeball-beholden odds, works. And mostly, it's magic.

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